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Bassist extraordinaire , Rick Shaw

Bassist Extraordinaire.... Rick Shaw

A couple of Saturdays ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite bassists of all time, Rick Shaw. Rick has worked with all kinds of recording artists and is also the bassist for Johnny Mathis and Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, my favorite jazz band. ...

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The Recovery phases of a severe asthma exacerbation

Suffice it to say, I wasn't exactly a happy camper when I wrote that Dr W helped me get through this awful time by reassuring me that what anguish I was experiencing was a normal response after suffering such a severe flare up, and that my complaints were ...

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Boston 2011 Race Report

Boston 2011 Race Report

They don't call it the best marathon in the world for nothing , and this year was no exception. The weather was near perfect and the spectators and volunteers outdid themselves. The moment I entered athletes village and the disabled athletes staging area early Monday morning, my worries and stress about ...

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15 months Intubation Free!

15 months Intubation Free!

It feels good to brag about something positive for a change. This week marks 15 whole months since Ive had to have a tube shoved down my windpipe in order to breath. Ive had zero, what I would call "critical condition" type hospitalizations in that time period as well. Granted, ...

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Do you know when it’s time to go in?

Do you know when it's time to go in?

The idea for this post came to me during the middle a recent severe exacerbation. Actually, it was the same exacerbation that put me in the hospital for 12 days, for which I am still recovering. Foremost on my mind during one of these really bad flares is the ...

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Asthma guilt trip

Asthma guilt trip

How many times have you had a really bad asthma flare, but had serious trepidations about going to the emergency room for treatment? How many times have you felt guilty that maybe you weren't sick enough to be admitted to the hospital? Well, that's pretty much been the ...

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Double Whammy Asthma

Double Whammy Asthma

( updated 2-2014) I often find it frustrating that here I am, a life long asthmatic, a Respiratory therapist and an asthma educator, yet still unable in normal conversation, to describe what makes my type of asthma so different from others. When asked to define asthma in general, I usually ...

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I’m a recovering  Albuter-holic

I'm a recovering Albuter-holic

Rick, the author of the Respiratory Therapy Cave , wrote to me the other day talking about what it was like growing up with severe asthma. One of the things he mentioned that I thought was kinda funny, was how he used to sleep with an inhaler ...

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My Trip to Churchill

My Trip to Churchill

My journey begins in Winnipeg (my very first time crossing the Canadian border). Just 2 days earlier there had been a pretty bad snow storm and potential weather delays at the airport were a big concern.Fortunately things worked out and I got there on time without any problems. ...

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Lung Lingo

Yes it's true, we asthmatics have a language all our own.   Here's my current list. Please feel free to add new words and definitions to it .   Yellow Zoning When someone is stuck in their yellow breathing zone. Cradle Asthmatic A person who has had asthma since earlier childhood or ...

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Healing Walks

Healing Walks

Carolyn Scott Kortge's new book is finally out and guess who's in one of the chapters? Carolyn contacted me about year ago for this project. She thought I had an interesting story to tell, and that it would fit in nicely with the motivational theme of the book. It's really ...

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My New Old Passion

My New Old Passion

It's actually not a new passion, more like the reigniting of an on again, off again love affair Ive had since early childhood. I'm referring of course to the bass guitar, or for that matter any other heavy string instrument. My introduction into the world of making music actually ...

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Propofol

Propofol

This is a picture of me on a ventilator last year during a severe asthma exacerbation ( what they call status asthmaticus). See the little IV bottle inside the blue rectangle with the milky looking stuff inside ? That's Propofol ! Also known as ...

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The SARP experience

The SARP experience

Welcome to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the

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Lung Transplant Evaluation Approved.

It's been way too long since I posted to my blog. Been doing most of my updating via my asthma support group on Facebook. So anyways, after 6 months of going around and around with the insurance company, they have finally agreed to pay for a full lung transplant evaluation. ...

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Buried Alive

Buried Alive

The photo is from the movie "Awake", but what happened to me last September was not fiction.. It was the real deal I'll share with you now, what I couldn't 9 months ago because of pending legal action. Ive since withdrawn my lawsuit against the parties involved and am ...

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A quarter million puffs

A quarter million puffs

Care for some Albuterol? (Hey.....how did the primatine mist get in there?) I sometimes jokingly claim that Ive

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Questions for Dr. Wenzel

Questions for Dr. Wenzel

Last week after finding out just how damaged my lungs really are, the only thing going through my head was..WHY? All of the assumptions I had made about my asthma throughout the years, suddenly didn't seem to make sense anymore. I was beginning to wonder if ...

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6 times a day

I had planned to write a post about my nebulizer treatment routine, but then I thought....what the heck,  I'll just video it! Its  spontaneous , unedited and kinda lame, but it's the real deal and it's what I have to do at least 6 times a day. ( recorded on 1-28-2009) ...

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3 Good Weeks

For the life of me I can’t figure out why my breathing was so good from those last 2 weeks in January all the way till Feb 3rd. When I say “good” I don’t mean like a return to normal lung function or even a significant decrease in symptoms, but still what I experienced during […]

March 16, 2013 5
Duke
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Duke …aka snuggle bug

When it rains it pours. Our hearts have never been so broken for so long. Why does this keep happening to the ones that bring us so much joy. It’s barely been 4 weeks since Milo’s passing, and now this morning we had to put to asleep yet another one of out beloved cats. His […]

March 14, 2013 5
Daily walk
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Yes, I still walk.

Haven’t trained for or entered any races, or even taken any walks greater than 5 miles in almost 2 years now. However,come rain or shine, crappy breathing or not, I still get out and walk 3 to 4 miles almost every single day. My main motivation for doing so nowadays, is mostly to preserve what […]

February 19, 2013 8
Milo 1994-2013
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Farewell Sweet Angel

The oldest of our 4 cats who shared his live with us for almost 19 years, was given back to god at 10:10 am February 13th,2013 Milo was a proud and fiercely independent little Persian kitty that we adopted from the SF SPCA in 1996 and became a huge part of our family unit. Milo […]

February 14, 2013 5
beach1
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Guest Post by Kerri

It’s a real pleasure to have my good friend and asthma advocacy partner Kerri MacKay here as my first guest poster. Thank you Kerri!   For as long as I can remember, defining moments in my life have had some sort of musical connection to them. To use two very cool album titles in the […]

January 26, 2013 13
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What’s in a number?

I still have a hard time believing it, especially the way Ive been feeling this past year, but during my most recent Pulmonary function test a few weeks ago, I blew an incredible FEV1 of 50%! OK, blowing an FEV1 of only half of normal may not sound like a big deal, but it’s the […]

January 9, 2013 6
100_4085
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My Trip to Churchill

My journey begins in Winnipeg (my very first time crossing the Canadian border). Just 2 days earlier there had been a pretty bad snow storm and potential weather delays at the airport were a big concern.Fortunately things worked out and I got there on time without any problems. Within minutes of stepping off the plane […]

November 20, 2012 11
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12 month Update

It’s almost 2013 and I just realized I really haven’t posted a breathing status update in almost a year. Probably the biggest change that I’m noticing, is that my dyspnea is getting more pronounced and more constant. Where I used get 8 or so “good” breathing hours a day, Im down now to less than […]

November 8, 2012 6
03-polar-bear-lg
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The next great adventure

This one doesn’t involve marathon walking , or music, or sightseeing through an ancient city. Nope, this adventure is totally different. I’m going on a Polar Bear expedition in Churchill Manitoba in north eastern Canada. Okay, so maybe the word expedition is a slight exaggeration. I guess a more appropriate description would be “Tour”, but […]

October 24, 2012 5
Bassist extraordinaire , Rick Shaw
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Bassist Extraordinaire…. Rick Shaw

A couple of Saturdays ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite bassists of all time, Rick Shaw. Rick has worked with all kinds of recording artists and is also the bassist for Johnny Mathis and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, my favorite jazz band. As a novice bass player, it’s difficult […]

October 4, 2012 2
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Temporary Reprieve

Earlier this week I had my long awaited lung transplant evaluation at Stanford University. Dr Weill and the other team members were awesome. I learned a lot and am satisfied with the outcome. In fact I think everyone involved in my care to this point has learned something. Very few asthmatics are ever referred for […]

August 18, 2012 2
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Lung Transplant Evaluation Approved.

It’s been way too long since I posted to my blog. Been doing most of my updating via my asthma support group on Facebook. So anyways, after 6 months of going around and around with the insurance company, they have finally agreed to pay for a full lung transplant evaluation. My appointment is scheduled for […]

July 21, 2012 10
asthma search phrases
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So,what brings you here?

Over the years Ive built up a pretty loyal following of friends who are interested in what Ive been up to and how I’m doing health wise , but the bulk of visitors to this blog still get here while searching for answers to asthma related questions or topics. The following (in order of popularity) […]

March 26, 2012 8
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Most frequently asked question

"Can you have an asthma attack with a normal sat reading"?
The answer is..YES!
While it's a little unusual to see a person with a perfect O2 sat of a 100% during a severe exacerbation, its pretty typical to see sats in the 94-97% range. The reason for this, is that asthma is a disease of the airways , not the alveoli where gas exchange takes place. Most asthmatics dont desaturate during the early stages of an attack,unless theres a secondary problem such as pneumonia. You have to be extremely ill with asthma if your sats are low.

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